We’ve been compiling weekly flight surveys for many years and have come to the realization that people always want to cut down on costs of travel. This is truer today than ever before! The idea of booking cheap flight is one method to accomplish this. This is the best method to save around a third-to-half of your budget.
Of course during the COVID-19 health crisis and the subsequent lockdowns, flights weren’t bookable as there were virtually no planes in the sky (bar the occasional repatriation flight). With so many people under financial pressure, it is more crucial to find low-cost flights now that flights have resumed. We are here to help! We’ve talked to our travel experts and have put together the best tips on how to book a cheap flight in South Africa in this post-lockdown world:
If an airline offers frequent flyer programmes, make sure you sign up for them and don’t forget that you can usually be able to claim missed miles for within 3 months of the date of departure (depending upon the airline). If you’re able to book your flights, do so with one airline. You might also want to look into airline alliances or groups that allow you redeem and earn miles on many airlines. Star Alliance is a good example. It includes SAA, Lufthansa and Ethiopian Airways. Domestically, you’ll be looking at the relationships with British Airways Comair and Kulula or SAA and Mango. You can use the SAA Voyager miles to save on both Mango as well as SAA flights.
It’s worthwhile to look into the options for rewards and other benefits that are available when considering the purchase of a credit card. Visa and MasterCards are the most sought-after choices for international travelers. However you don’t have to limit yourself to what banks offer. The Kulula credit cards are an excellent choice when you frequently travel within the country. There is also the Discovery Credit Card is also an option. Pay attention to interest rates, since you could end up paying almost double for your flights.
Every airline is important, even less well-known African airlines. Many of them are trying to establish their own brands. RwandAir, Ethiopian Airways and Ethiopian Airways are great value for money. They also offer incredible airline discounts. Think of them like you thought with Emirates 15 years ago! Do not let security concerns stop you from taking advantage of these deals as airports are generally some of the safest areas in Africa. Pay attention to travel times, and keep an eye on the cost for lounge access if you’re traveling a lot at smaller airports with only a few entertainment options.
Do not assume that low-cost airlines are always the most affordable! Always utilize a search engine that compares flights from both low-cost carriers (Mango & Kulula) and full service carriers (British Airways, SA Express, SA Airlink and SAA). Be sure that your results are sorted to ensure that the least expensive options are listed at the top . Don’t forget to factor in extra charges.. The results may surprise you!
Make sure you check details of the most affordable flight! Domestically FlySafair flights do not allow checked bags and cost an addional R150 to add per way. Internationally, companies like Virgin Atlantic have introduced a lower cost flight, which does not include checked bags. Adding a bag afterwards often is more costly than booking a flight which included it right from the start. This page’s flight booking engine is on the left side. It lets you easily compare prices and view what is included.
Don’t settle for the cheapest option. In times like these, there are many airlines facing financial challenges, which are usually well documented in the media. We’re not mentioning names since the circumstances are subject to change frequently. However, do your homework and maybe avoid booking tickets for travel far ahead of time on any of the airlines with the reputation of being unable to cope. It is best to be flexible about your travel dates and you can pay with credit cards. Last-minute bargains are always worth looking for!
What is the best time should you reserve your flight? In general, airlines sell their cheapest tickets first. The most important thing to remember is to get your tickets as early as you can. The golden rule may not be much fun, or very helpful in this particular instance however, you should make reservations for flights as soon as you discover a flight price you’re comfortable with. The further in advance you’re making your booking, the better the likelihood that you’re taking the cheapest tickets for flights. It’s impossible to predict the sales of airlines, but they can theoretically be announced at any time.
However, there are millions of exceptions to each rule. To reduce the risk of tickets not selling in the way you expected airlines utilize a dynamic pricing system. This can be seen as you near your travel date, based on availability. However, it could happen in the opposite if there is more demand than space. It’s a risk. If you’re willing to wait for special offers or airline sales, or last-minute deals, they’re typically released about 10 to 4 weeks prior to your departure date.